*Almost there…!*

Miku was out of breath by the time the bell that started the school day rang shrilly around her.

*C'mon hurry up!* she told herself, speeding to the first class of the day. Thankfully, her Language teacher wasn't harsh, so Miku hoped that she wouldn't get into serious trouble. The teal-haired teen internally cursed Kaito for making her perform at The Club late into the night, causing her to groggily do her homework for an hour before she went crashing onto the bed at 2 a.m. What made her even angrier was that her alarm clock woke her up exactly at 6 a.m. to get ready for school.

Half panting, she finally entered her first classroom and rushed to a seat in the back of the room.

"So, turn to page—" the teacher stopped mid sentence and turned her glass adorned eyes to the red faced girl, who also froze mid-movement.

"Hatsune!" the teacher exclaimed in a sharp voice, looking at the clock. "Why are you so late?"

"Sorry, ma'am." Miku bowed, feeling her face turn redder from embarrassment. "I have no excuse for my tardiness, but please pardon me. I won't be late again."

As Miku hoped, the teacher softened. "Fine, take a seat then. And you better keep your word, do you understand?"

"Yes, ma'am." Miku agreed, though she doubted that she would be able to live up to her word. She sank into the seat closest to her, trying to avoid all the stares that she suddenly noticed.

*Geez, I was just late for five minutes…it's like they've never seen someone late before.* She thought, sweeping over the gazes of her classmates until she saw Meiko and Gakupo staring at her too. Miku managed a small smile and wave but was confused when all her friends did was frown and turn back to the board.

For the rest of the class, she couldn't concentrate; all she thought of was the frowns she received from her friends. She couldn't pick up why they seemed so disappointed in her, or why her classmates kept sending her dark glares. Or whenever they were glaring, they would always turn to the person next to them and mutter something.

She pondered on this throughout the whole class until it ended, which couldn't come soon enough. As soon as the bell rang, Gakupo and Meiko rushed to Miku.

"So, is it true?" the both exclaimed in union.

Miku tilted her head in confusion. "What?"

"What's going around." Meiko answered, making the teal haired girl tense.

"Yeah…Rin told us there's something going around about Kaito kissing you and then taking you home." Gakupo added, folding his arms.

"Oh so now you know, huh?" Miku muttered, looking down.

"So is it true?" Meiko pressed, her frown deepening into her already anxious brown eyes.

Without looking up, Miku nodded. Meiko gasped and comically fell into Gakupo's arms.

"G-get up, Meiko!" Gakupo shouted, turning a little red. Meiko composed herself and turned to Miku, who still had her head down.

"Why? How! And how come you didn't tell us!" Meiko yelled in a voice that came off as a little harsher then she wanted it to be.

"It's a long story…" Miku replied in a dead, hollow voice. Meiko and Gakupo were instantly set aback, and even a little bit ashamed, at her tone. The happy Miku, the one that they knew, never used that tone unless it was one of those scarce occurrences when she cried.

"We'll…talk about it at lunch, okay?" Meiko said in a softer tone, resting her hand of Miku's shoulder.

Gakupo looked up to see a blond haired girl with a long side ponytail and another raven haired girl with pigtails, watching the scene with beady eyes. "What're you looking at?" he hissed, and they instantly backed off, muttering things as they left. Without a doubt, Miku could tell that they were off to gossip with their friends about what they've just seen. Miku, Meiko, and Gakupo followed them out, but separated as they went to their own classes. Miku's heart fell as she felt glares and whispers being directed at her.

"Ugh, it's her…"

"I didn't know she would turn out like that…"

"She seemed so innocent…guess we can't judge a book by its cover…"

Through all this, Miku just kept her head down, letting her teal bangs covering her ashamed eyes as she trudged to her next class.

*Was that why everyone was looking at me?* She thought anxiously, *I wonder what's going on in everyone's mind…*

Miku gasped as she remembered someone who she was sure that would be thinking about the whole gossip. *Len…*

He was there to see everything first hand, and Miku couldn't even imagine how he felt…especially at that moment…that special moment where she was sure he was going to confess to her and she to him. She reached her History class in time and took a seat next to Sho, who was immersed in a book. He looked up at her and frowned a little.

"What's wrong?" he asked, giving her a concerned look through his glasses.

Miku took a deep breath. "I'm sure you've already heard about it…all this gossip flying around…"

"Don't get so worked up about that." Sho shrugged coolly as his bright green eyes relaxed. "I don't even know where they would get those ridiculous rumors from!" He faced Miku with a smile. "Don't worry, it's all just a lie and when the truth comes out, the gossip will die down."

"But it is the truth." Miku admitted in a voice only Sho could hear.

"Wha-?" he exclaimed, shocked. "Why…how….?"

"I'll tell you at lunch." Miku whispered, looking up at Sho pleadingly. She felt people tuning into their conversation and she didn't feel the least bit compelled to disclose any more information about her life then what was already leaked.

Sho nodded with an air of understanding and then put on a cheerful smile to lighten the mood. "So, didja do the homework?"

"Oh yeah, took me a long time." Miku replied, also relaxing. "But, I still don't get why—"

"We have to study about 'some lame dead people'?" Sho finished for her, laughing. "You never change, do you?"

"Nope, never!" Miku laughed, and she suddenly found History much easier to bear. Being with her friend made her forget about all of the glares and whispers she received from other people…but only for a short while, that is.

As soon as she departed class and Sho, she felt like an outcast; nobody smiled, or said hi to her like she was used to. Her only source of normalness was from Rin and Meiko at her next class, Math, and she tried to ignore everyone and try to move on like nothing happened, but an incident after class made her snap.

Meiko, Rin and Miku were walking out of class to lunch when the girls heard a nasty comment behind them.

"Look at her! I can't believe Kaito is going out with her?"

Miku instantly tensed up and her pace slowed. She looked over her shoulder to see the same gossipers again; Akita Neru and Yokune Ruko, though this time they were with Utane Uta and Yowane Haku.

"I know!" Ruko's voice cackled. Miku's hands curled into angry fists as she tried to heed her friends and leave. But her friend's voices seemed distant and all she could hear were insults.

"She's horrible!" Uta added.

"Forget about them, they have nothing better to do…" Rin told Miku.

"Yeah, and they can't be talking about horrible." Meiko said loudly, glaring at the girls. They didn't seem to notice the comment, because their taunting went on.

"I wonder why he's going out with her." Haku asked aloud.

"Isn't it obvious? She must be a total slut to—"

That was the breaking point for Miku. Before Neru could finish that sentence, Miku turned around in a flash and faced them with a murderous glare. The girl froze as Miku stormed towards them, and she felt mind being clouded by nothing but the anger that boiled in her blood.

"You…know…nothing…" Miku growled, pinning Neru on the wall, raising her hand. "…about me, bitch!"

The once carefree girl made a movement to get a good strike at Neru when another hand stopped her.

"Don't!" Rin yelled, dragging Miku back. Miku couldn't let her eyes off of Neru, even as she and her clique ran away, terrified.

Her body was trembling in anger as she left with her consoling friends. "Calm down…they aren't worth getting suspended for."

"I know!" Miku spat with such an anger that made Meiko and Rin flinch in surprise. "But I'm so sick of hearing this all day! 'Miku's this, Miku's that…' They…they don't know anything!"

She went on ranting until they finally reached the usual spot outside in the brisk sunshine of September. As they sat around the circular table, Miku noticed that someone was missing and her focus instantly changed.

"Where's Len?" she asked immediately.

"Don't know." Sho shrugged. "Haven't seen him anywhere."

"Oh." Miku muttered disappointedly. She really wanted him to be there when she explained everything, so everything would be clear between them.

"It's lunch time, finally." Meiko said. "So, tell us everything!"

Miku nodded and took in a deep breath. "Well…it was the first week of summer and…"

Miku went on to narrate her life after her parent's deaths to Kaito's arrival into her life, omitting the fact that he was violent and she was basically forced into her job. By the end of her half-baked story, she heard Meiko sniffling a little.

Rin looked slightly hurt when she said, "Why didn't you just stay with one of us? We wouldn't have minded at all!"

A murmur of agreement went around, uplifting Miku's heart. "Thanks guys. But Kaito already offered…so I went ahead."

*And made a really stupid decision…* Miku added in her mind. Before anybody could ask any questions, Len walked over to the table; his expression was stony and his eyes were clouded with resentment as he approached Rin.

"Here's your lunch money. You forgot it." He muttered, dropping the coins into Rin's open palm. But instead of looking at her brother, Rin, as well as everyone else, fixated their eyes onto Miku's pained face.

She couldn't even begin to explain the unusual relationship between her and Kaito, but she wanted to say something. She had to say something. She looked up as Len was turning and their eyes briefly met.

Miku was shocked to see Len look at her with such disgust, even for that short second. She never received such hate from him, ever. She shut her mouth and stared back down and Meiko, noticing the tension, tried to direct the focus away from Len.

Len wasn't far away from her when she said, "Kaito must've been really nice to just take you in, huh?"

Len froze.

"He probably—" Nobody expected Len to cut Meiko off, but the blond looked over his shoulder and loudly said something he instantly regretted,

"He probably just let her stay so he can fuck her."

"Len!" Rin shouted, glaring at him.

But it was too late; the damage was done. Several people, including Akita Neru's group, overheard Len and a whole torrent of whispers formed around them. However, Len wasn't bothered by anyone but Miku.

The tears of shock and disbelief that were brimming in her aquamarine eyes seared his heart, making him feel guilty. He couldn't meet her gaze any longer than a second and he looked down, feeling his face burn.

*I shouldn't have said that…I'm such a freakin idiot!* Len internally shouted at himself. He turned around and saw Miku looking like a scared child, staring at all of the people whispering about her while tears rolled down her cheeks.

Len took a step towards her, but Miku got up, grabbed her bag and ran past Len towards the main building.

"Miku! Wait!" Rin chased after her, glaring at Len as she sped past him. Meiko went up to him angrily.

"She has enough people calling her a slut without you adding more shit to her plate." She hissed before following Miku.

"Nice going." Gakupo muttered sarcastically.

"I-I didn't mean to!" Len sputtered.

"Yeah, but it happened, didn't it?" Gakupo glared.

"Her staying with Kaito…" Sho said. "It isn't what you think it is."

"Then how is it?" Len asked, an anger boiling in him at the blue haired man's name.

"Her parents died over the summer, shrimphead." Gakupo said, causing Len's eyes to widen.

"And Kaito was the one to take her in." Sho finished.

"But then why did he…kiss her?" Len asked.

"That's something you should ask her yourself…instead of going around and calling her things that she isn't."

Len looked down, completely ashamed and disgusted with himself. *I should've tried to understand.*

"Oh, and you're lucky you're Rin's brother or else you wouldn't have been standing up right now." Sho said dangerously, his green eyes narrowing into Len's wide ones.

Gakupo got up and slung his backpack over his shoulder. "You better straighten this up or else I'm gonna have to beat you up for making her sad."

"No, we'll beat you for making her sadder. Got it?" Sho corrected, also getting up. The two went off, leaving Len alone with his guilty conscience.

*I'm so stupid!*

"Len!" a girly voice called out to him. Len looked up and groaned. It was Akita Neru, someone he didn't like being around with. Neru belonged to a group of girls that gossip about everyone all the time, and that annoyed Len very much.

"Yeah?" Len said tonelessly.

"Why don't you hand out with us? You seem a little lonely." Neru said flirtatiously, giving him a bright smile.

*I wouldn't hang out with you even if someone paid me* Len thought and nearly said. Luckily, he caught himself from making any more mistakes and said, "I'm okay, thanks."

He was turning away when Neru caught his hand. "Leaving already?" She made a pouting face.

"Uh, yeah….was there anything you wanted to say?"

"Yeah. I'm having a birthday party at some new place in town. I'd love it if you'd come." Neru smiled.

Len scratched his neck, trying to think of an excuse. "Uh, I—"

Just then, the bell rang. "I'll talk to you in P.E, okay?" Neru winked and left before Len could say anything.

Just as quickly Neru left, Len's guilty feelings hit him as he headed to his next class. His guilty conscience kicked into full gear and started telling him for what he said.

*I shouldn't have said that…I shouldn't have said that…* was all that went through his mind all during class. As soon as class ended, he decided, *I'll tell her sorry as soon as I see her.*

He was waiting for her during P.E when Neru approached him again. He couldn't escape her no matter what he said, so she babbled on and on about something Len didn't pay the slightest attention to; he was too busy scanning the ground for Miku, his Miku.

"It's you!" Len heard Neru say in a pitch that was different from her babbling. He looked at what Neru was staring at and his eyes widened.

It was Miku and, to Len's utter surprise, she was smiling. However, she wasn't smiling at Len; she was focusing her full attention to Neru. She didn't even look at him, nor did a frown come upon her face, showing that she was upset with him being around her. It was like he was invisible to her.

"Hey Neru-chan!" Miku smiled.

"What do you want?" the blond girl asked, just as confused Len was. Miku kept smiling.

Just then, Len noticed there was something wrong with the smile. He saw that her eyes lacked the familiar sapphire twinkle that he grew to adore whenever she smiled. Her usual smile always used to reflect happiness but this one…this one had no emotion in it. This smile seemed to stay in place, as if it were plastered on.

With the fake smile in place, Miku said something that she would've never said if she was in the situation.

"I wanna apologize for earlier."

!Author's Note!

Gahh, I'm not so sure about this chapter. It started out as something else and ended up as something else. I apologize if the beginning was rushed or this chapter had a lot of mistakes; I didn't wanna cramp everything into this chapter, and just let me know about any mistakes 'cause I'll fix them asap!

Well, I have some questions for my readers…What parts did you like or dislike? Why do you think Miku apologized to Neru? What do you think will happen next?

I'd really like it if you guys would let me know!